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April 23, 2013

Davie Used Auto Dealer Arrested For Tax Theft

Richard R. Vargas II, the former owner of Virtual Autos, Inc., a closed used car dealership located in Davie, Florida, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $15,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Mr. Vargas, 23, who lives in Dania, was arrested by the Miramar Police Department, April 13, 2013, on a felony charge relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, he faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. Mr. Vargas owned and operated Virtual Autos that had been located at 4970 South West 52nd Street in Davie.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Vargas collected tax from customers at his dealership. However, during various periods beginning in 2008 and lasting through periods in 2010, he failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that he had collected. Under state law, sales tax is the property of the state at the moment of collection.

“It is an honor to serve the vast majority of Florida businesses who comply with State tax requirements,” said Marshall Stranburg, Executive Director, Florida Department of Revenue. “For those that don't, it is our job to enforce the law and ensure honest businesses are not placed at a competitive disadvantage by those who ignore the law or intentionally collect and steal taxpayer dollars.”

If you have information about tax crimes, please call the Florida Department of Revenue Investigations office in Coral Springs at 954-346-2850.

Note: Due to the confidential nature of taxpayer records, generally the information found in this release is the only information available from the Department of Revenue concerning this matter. Other information may be available through the arresting agency and the local Clerk of Court.